Comparing different IUDs

Intrauterine contraception (IUC), also referred to as an intrauterine device (IUD) or intrauterine system (IUS), is a long-acting, reversible contraceptive method that involves the placement of a small, flexible, T-shaped device inside the uterus.

“Set It & Forget It” – What types of IUC are available?

Four types of IUC are available in the US: three are LNG IUS (brand names Mirena®, SkylaTM, and Liletta®), and the fourth is Copper T 380A (brand name ParaGard®), which is composed of copper and contains no hormones. All four are extremely effective at preventing pregnancy and are rapidly reversible. The table compares these four types of IUC.

Copper T 380A
LNG IUS
Brand Name
ParaGard
Mirena
Skyla
Liletta
Description T-shaped polyethylene frame with approximately 176 mg of copper wire coiled along the vertical stem and a 68.7-mg collar on each side of the horizontal arm T-shaped polyethylene frame with a steroid reservoir containing 52 mg of LNG; releases approximately 20 mcg per day, decreasing to half that value after 5 years T-shaped polyethylene frame with a steroid reservoir containing a total of 13.5 mg of LNG; releases approximately 14 mcg per day after 25 days, decreasing to 5 mcg per day after 3 years T-shaped polyethylene frame with a drug reservoir containing 52 mg of LNG, packaged within a sterile inserter; releases approximately 18.6 mcg per day, decreasing to 12.6 mcg per day at 3 years
Duration of approved use 10 years 5 years 3 years 3 years
Efficacy > 99% > 99% > 99% > 99%
Size of device 32 mm horizontally and 36 mm vertically 32 mm both horizontally and vertically 28 mm horizontally and 30 vertically 32 mm both horizontally and vertically
Most common side effects
  • Menstrual bleeding alterations (heavier and longer periods)
  • Cramping after insertion and/or during periods
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Urticarial allergic skin reaction
  • Vaginitis
  • Device expulsion
  • Menstrual bleeding alterations (spotting and lighter periods)
  • Cramping after insertion
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Oeadache or migraine
  • Acne
  • Depressed or altered mood
  • Device expulsion
  • Menstrual bleeding alterations (spotting and lighter periods)
  • Cramping after insertion or during periods
  • Vulvovaginitis
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Acne or seborrhea
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Device expulsion
  • Menstrual bleeding alterations (spotting and lighter periods)
  • Cramping after insertion
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Headache or migraine
  • Acne
  • Depressed or altered mood
  • Device expulsion
  • Vaginal/vulvovaginal infection
Effect on bleeding patterns Often, increased amount and duration of bleeding; approximately 50% increase in blood loss Unpredictable, with frequent light bleeding for the first three months. By three to six months, usually dramatically reduced bleeding. Amenorrhea in about one-third of users after 12 months Spotting and irregular or heavy bleeding during the first three to six months. By three months, periods may be shorter, lighter, or both. Cycles may remain irregular, become infrequent, or cease During first 3 to 6 months, bleeding and spotting may increase and bleeding may be irregular. TAfter, the amount of bleeding and spotting decreases, but bleeding may remain irregular.
Special Benefits
  • Can be used as emergency contraception–prevents pregnancy when inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex
  • Contains no hormones–good contraceptive choice for women who cannot or prefer not to use estrogen
  • Can use while breastfeeding
  • No pill to take daily
  • Can use while breastfeeding
  • No pill to take daily
  • May reduce period cramps and make period lighter
  • Good contraceptive choice for women who cannot or prefer not to use estrogen
  • Can use while breastfeeding
  • No pill to take daily
  • May reduce period cramps and make period lighter
  • Good contraceptive choice for women who cannot or prefer not to use estrogen
  • Budget-friendly
  • Can use while breastfeeding
  • No pill to take daily
  • May reduce period cramps and make period lighter
  • Good contraceptive choice for women who cannot or prefer not to use estrogen

*Data on ParaGard tube size provided by Teva US Medical Information, 2013.

See product labeling for full description of contraindications and other prescribing information.


To download this information in an easy to read PDF format, click here.


 

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